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Three ninth-inning defensive gems secured the Angels' first Spring Training no-hitter since 1996

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Tempe Diablo Stadium was the sight of something special on Friday night, when the Angels hosted the Mariners' split squad for an AL West Spring Training matchup. 

Now, a regular Spring Training game (especially one against a split-squad team) may not ordinarily register on your scale of meaningful on-field events, but this game was different. Not just because the Angels threw their first team no-hitter in Spring Training since 1996, or the first Cactus League no-hitter since '96 (but the second in MLB this spring), but how they pulled it off. 

With three outs to go, C.J. Cron, Shane Robinson and Sherman Johnson made the dream a reality thanks to some tremendous, regular-season levels of effort.

Cron speared a hard grounder off the bat of James Ramsey with a dive to his right for the first out, Robinson scampered in from right field to corral a hard liner off the bat of Ian Miller, and then, with just one out to go, Johnson snatched up a bouncing ball from Rayder Ascanio and fired a laser to Cron to wrap it all up: 

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As a result, eight Angels pitchers (Norris, Jose Alvarez, Cam Bedrosian, Andrew Bailey, Austin Adams, Drew Gagnon, Justin Anderson and Abel De Los Santos) are now a part of Angels team history.

When asked by MLB.com's Maria Guardado what the no-hitter meant to him, Angels manager Mike Scioscia had this to say: 

"I think what makes us feel good is the way our guys executed pitches, and obviously the defense in the ninth inning was incredible. Sometimes you can't control the results, but you control the process, and tonight all our guys that came in, the guys that are going to be important to us, made their pitches, and that was good to see."

Had Scioscia been part of a Spring Training no-no in the past? 

"I have no idea. I don't remember. They're few and far between here, I'll tell you."

Sure, the game "didn't count," but those plays definitely did happen. And they were great. 

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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